Category Archives for "Coach Nancy"

You Need to Try Cowboy Caviar

I'm always looking for new recipes. I like variety and I'm always up for new dishes to become family favorites. When Coach Dean sent me over this one I knew it was going to be good. I tweaked the original recipe to match what I had on hand and voila!

Cowboy Caviar

  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 onion , diced
  • 3 tomatoes , diced
  • 1 jalapeno, (optional) diced 
  • 1 bunch of chives, chopped
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 can corn, or fresh cooked
  • 1 can black bean, or 1 cup cooked
  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar, or white

Rinse the quinoa well. Add it to the two cups of water and bring to a boil. Once its boil cover your pot and continue cooking the quinoa in low heat for 10 more minutes. Remove from heat, remove lid and let it cool down.

While it is cooling down, add all your veggies diced to a large mixing bowl. This makes a lot so make it a big bowl. Add the cooled quinoa and blend well all together. Season with red wine vinegar or white, olive oil, and salt all to your preference of taste. And last add a handful of chopped up cilantro and blend all together one more time. Bonn appetite! Best to chill for several hours before eating.

NOTE: This could be done with any color quinoa

I served this along side chicken enchiladas. The next evening I served it on top of Papa Dean's Spicy Blend.

Click here to find the original recipe. 

Enjoy good food,

Coach Nancy

Crocktober Fest

Cr8 Fitness is a happy place where people start as acquaintances and leave as friends. We work hard at our physical bodies staying healthy. While being healthy is about what you can and can’t do it is also about you do and do not eat as well as how much. In other words to be healthy you need to move and eat well. Crocktober Fest is a fun way to add healthy into busy people lives.

  • Don't let the name scare you away! Crocktober Fest is all about healthy eating done in a crockpot (or instant pot) I'm excited about this challenge as it's focus is using a particular kitchen tool rather than focusing on a particular plan of eating. Don't get me wrong, we'll be passing out healthy recipes they'll just use your crockpot to create them. Fall seems like the perfect time to have a meal cooking all day long so your house smells yummy when you walk in the door from work. 
  • Don't let the crockpot scare you either. Many of you have converted to an instant pot and these recipes are easily adapted for it. In fact some of the recipes come with adaptions for stove or oven use. 
  • And you can't be scared by the price because it is FREE. 


Crocktober Fest starts on Monday, October 4th. Even though it is free I will need you to do something for me please. I need you to sign up for the challenge. You can do that down below. Hold on there are a few more things you should know before signing up. 

  • Your goal each week is to make one recipe from the Crocktober Fest Cookbook using your Crockpot or Instant Pot. Then snap a picture of your meal either while you are prepping it, while it is cooking, or just before you serve it. Post it to our Facebook group
  • They'll be some bonus challenges to complete along the way too
  • We'll be using Coach Catalyst to help us stay on track, give us focus and also a tool to challenge our thinking. Its simple once you know how to use it. (and I can show you how)
  • The Crocktober Fest Recipe Book has over 25 recipes in it and you'll be adding more I promise. The only way to get his Recipe book is to sign up.
  • Mark your calendar for October 27th. It's the last day of Crocktober Fest. We'll each be bringing a meal made in our crockpot or instant pot to share with others. It'll be like a Friendsgiving Party. 5:30pm at Cr8 Fitness

  • Invite friends and family to do the Crocktober Fest with you. They'll help you with some of the bonus challenges. You do not need to be a member at Cr8 Fitness to join in.

I think I have covered the details. Remember its Free, It starts Monday, Invite others, and its the only way to get the cookbook. Oh and we'll be having a party on the last day, October 27th. 

Lets get this show on the road by signing up now.

Coach Nancy

Pumpkin Recipes for Every Occasion

Cr8 Fitness has the best peeps ever! In the last week, I've been given a joke book to fill our days especially Tuesdays with laughter, a pair of socks, and two pumpkins. I'd like to thank everyone who trains with us. You make my days easier and full of family. Since I've been able to share the joke book I also wanted to share some recipes to help make your Fall festive and healthy. If you've been blessed with a pumpkin you might be able to use that in some of these recipes. A can of pumpkin from the store will work amazing as well. I'm working on ideas to share my socks with everyone. 

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites

  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • ½ cup pumpkin pureé
  • 1 scoop Beverly Vanilla or Graham Cracker Protein
  • pumpkin spice (for topping)

Mix together all ingredients (except pumpkin spice) until well combined. Place into molds, I used the small silicone muffin pan. Ice cube trays work great too! Sprinkle with pumpkin spice and place in freezer until firm (about 2 hours). Let thaw a couple minutes before enjoying.

I wonder what Angel Food Cake would taste like here.

Pumpkin Bars

  • ½ cup oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar

  • ½ cup butter

  • ½ teaspoon cloves

  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 2 cups milk

  • 3 eggs

  • 5 scoops UMP Vanilla

  • 2 cups pumpkin

Heat oven to 350. Place butter into a 9×13 pan and let melt in oven while it is preheating. In the meantime mix the oats, flour, and the brown sugar. Pour over the melted butter and press down with a spoon. Bake for 12 minutes. While crust is baking, scald milk and the spices. Stir in the pumpkin and then the eggs followed by the protein powder. Pour this over the crust and bake for another 20 minutes or until the pumpkin filling is firm to the touch.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

  • 1/3 cup pure pumpkin, canned
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or walnuts, almonds, flax, chia, etc)
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2/3 cup water
  • Ice 

Mix all ingredients in blender until smooth and creamy. Pour immediately into a large cup. Eat with a spoon or a large straw. 

Pumpkin Overnight Oats

  • 1 1/2 cups steel cut oats (do not substitute quick cooking, instant, or rolled oats)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups milk, any kind you like (I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal (or swap an equal amount of chia seeds, hemp seeds)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For serving: chopped toasted pecans, dried cranberries, chopped dried apricots, peanut butter, or any other mix-ins you enjoy with pumpkin

Pumpkin Chia Pudding

  • 1.5 cups almond milk
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 scoop UMP Vanilla protein powder
  • 2 TB almond butter
  • 1 TB raw honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • Sea Salt, a pinch

Blend all ingredients, except chia seeds, until smooth. Place the blended mixture into a reseal-able large jar (or 2 smaller jars) then add chia seeds. Seal jar and shake.

Place in refrigerator overnight or for at least 3+ hours. Feel free to shake jars once or twice in between to make sure they didn’t become too gelatinous. Breakfast, snack or post workout recovery is served!

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili

  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, diced, green
  • 6 clove garlic , minced
  • 1 1/2 pound ground beef, or bison
  • 1 28 -ounce can crushed tomato
  • 1 6.5 -ounce can can tomato paste
  • 1 14- ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup chicken broth, or water
  • 2 ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. cayenne, optional
  • 1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ - ¾ tsp. sea salt
  • ⅛ tsp black pepper

Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil and saute the onions and peppers, stirring occasionally, for about 7 minutes or until onions start to soften. Then add the garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds or until fragrant.

Add the ground beef. Use a spatula or spoon to break it up as it cooks. Cook until meat is nearly cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.

Transfer meat mixture to the slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients and stir. Set heat to LOW and cook for 6-7 hours. 8. Serve with desired toppings such as: Lime wedges, diced avocado, fresh cilantro and/or hot sauce.

Enjoy Fall and Enjoy Good Food.

Thank you for being in my life,

Coach Nancy


Reminds Me of Thanksgiving – Chicken With Apples and Onions

This year's apple crop is fantastic. We have two trees and they are loaded with apples. One of the reasons Fall is my favorite season is because of apples. For the next month or so, my family will be eating a lot of apples. Another reason Fall is my favorite season is it ends with Thanksgiving. This recipe has both, apples and the flavor reminds me of Thanksgiving. 

Chicken with Apples and Onion
2 tablespoons almond meal
salt and pepper
2 boneless chicken breast
2 teaspoons coconut oil
2 onions, sliced
3 apples diced
1 teaspoon dried marjoram or 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 sprigs sage
Place almond meal, salt, and pepper in a Ziplock bag, add chicken, seal bag and shake to coat. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick frypan over medium high heat. Add chicken, saute 2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan, keep warm. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in pan. Add onion, saute for 5 minutes or until browned. Add apples, spices, and sage, saute for 5 more minutes. Add the chicken, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or until chicken is done. If you feel you need a bit of liquid while cooking add in water or apple cider. (about 1/2 cup) My apples cooked down so I didn't add it to mine. 

Since I have apples, apples and apples, I'm going to be making applesauce and Graham Cracker Applesnack and Applesauce Overnight Oats. If you have a favorite way to eat apples, send the recipe my way, I'd love to give it a go. 

Enjoy Good Food,

Coach Nancy

Over the Top Stuffed Acorn Squash

I enjoy meals that are contained in one dish. It just seems easier to me. It helps me to keep things simple. And the clean up goes faster too. This meal could be made ahead of time and then put in the oven when you need it. It's another bonus when the whole family is busy. 

Over the Top Stuffed Acorn Squash

  • 2 acorn squash, small
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup cauliflower rice
  • 1 pound breakfast sausage
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped
  • 2 apple, chopped


Preheat oven to 400°. Cut each squash in half. Use a spoon to remove seeds and brush all over with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast until tender, 30-35 minutes.

Meanwhile, make filling: in a large skillet over medium heat, cook sausage. Breaking up with a wooden spoon and stirring occasionally until golden and cooked through, 5 minutes. Add onion, celery, and apple. Cook until soft. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.

Add kale and cook, stirring frequently. Add cauliflower rice and sausage to skillet with vegetables and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Divide mixture among the 6 squash halves. Switch oven to broil and broil until tops are golden and filling is warmed, 2 to 3 minutes.

You can add variety by adding in mushrooms, green peppers or both to this as well. I ended up with extra filling. My family didn’t seem to mind as it disappeared before dinner was over.

Enjoy Good Food,

Coach Nancy

3. 2. 1. 0. September Challenge

It is already the middle of the month and we are going to start a challenge. Our 3. 2. 1. 0. Challenge is laid out in the gym for you to choose what you'll be doing. Here's how it works. 

For the rest of the month of September you'll pick one area to focus your nutrition into. By choosing one focus point you can direct all your attention to that one thing so you can help yourself out. I know I could choose to do all four things but I want to do one thing really well.  After I can see success in that one area then I can place my attention on other areas. Where are you going to place your focus?


3 PPW meals

Protein, Produce, and Water

You're choosing to eat 3 PPW meals a day. Protein, Produce and water make up your meal without adding any other food categories. An example might be a steak, with a side of green beans washed down with a glass of water 

Every time you eat you'll make sure there are 2 servings of vegetables on your plate. 

(A servings is a cupped handful.) A great example would be a salad made up of Papa Dean's Microgreens topped with chopped tomato, cucumbers, and green peppers. 

2 servings of veggies

serving = 1 cupped handful

1 glass of water

glass of water = 8 ounces

Drinking one 8 - ounce glass of water every time you eat is easier said than done. 

Before every meal drink your water. Before every snack -drink your water. Tasting your meal while cooking or snagging a quick bite of your child's - drink your water. Every time you eat - drink 8 ounces. 

This i where I am focused. I am committing to eating main meals but not grabbing a snack in between. Zero means zero bites, licks or tastes of food. 

0 snacking

zero, zilch, nothing nada

Now it is up to you. We can all better our nutrition. The healthier we are, affords us a body that is able to handle the stresses of life easier. Currently there is a lot of stress factors going on. Let's give ourselves the best chance to be ready for them. 

Which choice are you going to make? 

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

So Easy Salmon Cake Recipe

These are a cinch to make from start to finish. These salmon cakes are healthy, fast, and delicious... and can be served for lunch with a salad or for dinner with a side of vegetables. Plus they are a cinch to make from start to finish.  I mixed them up a few hours before dinner this week. Coach Dean was able to coach his soccer team and have dinner ready when I came in from the gym. Now that's teamwork. 

Salmon Cakes

  • 1 can wild Alaskan Salmon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup almond meal

Empty the wild Alaskan salmon into a bowl. Add an egg, one Tablespoon lemon juice and a ½ cup almond meal. Mix everything together and shape into patties.

Sauté over medium high heat and serve with a wedge of lemon.

Homemade Tartar Sauce

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Mix all ingredients together. Best if made a day ahead. Store in refrigerator.

Enjoy good food,

Coach Nancy

Lemon salmon is another favorite recipe with only three ingredients you need to check it out. Find the recipe here. 

What Does 10 Years At Cr8 Fitness Look Like?

A decade can be viewed as a very long thing. It can also be a very short thing. If I look back when I was in second grade 10 years later would have been close to an eternity of time. When I look back on my kids last 10 years, It's flown by so quickly. 

What about in the gym? Cr8 Fitness has been around for more than 13 years. Has anyone survived more than a year, 3 years, 5 years, or the unthinkable 10? The incredible answer is Yes! In fact Dan at 6:15am has been training with us since day one. Brian is a close second by just about 3 weeks. 

And there are soooo many more. 

I'm incredibly humbled when I look at the peeps in the gym. We all have our different reasons for being here and yet health and fitness unite us all. 

I'm a grandma, my littlest peeps call me Gigi. When I am 93 years old, I want them to think I am worthy of being asked to go sky diving by them. I want to be that crazy Gigi they tell their friends about. 

Get to know those in your training time. I know you will be awed and inspired by their story.  

Gretchen who is owns one of the famous names on the banners in the gym put it so well as she signed her name that day. She wrote, "Gretchen, a Work in Progress." We are all a work in progress. I'm proud to be working along side, with you, and for you.

Keep Making It Happen,

Coach Nancy 

Everyone’s Having a Skiing Good Time in August

Team Challenge Time.

August 2nd begins our Ski Team Challenge. Summer skiing is amazing for several different reasons. 

  • The weather isn't too cold
  • No need for snow suits, hats, and gloves
  • You can hang out with your friends and not freeze
  • And it will warm you up, just in case you were a bit chilly

In fact Summer Skiing is a team sport. Here is how our challenge is going to work. You'll need to Cr8 a team (see what I did there?). Each team will have 3-4 people on it. They do not have to be from the same training time. You can ski before or after training each day. I realize some groups will be skiing while a training session is just finishing up but it'll work - promise. You can ski a maximum of 2,000 meters a day per person. Which means your team can ski up to 8,000 meters each training day. You'll mark your actual meters on your team's Ski Thermometer. If we ski during the training session those meters can be counted towards your daily meters. 

The team with the most meters at the end of August wins!

Need some inspiration?

  •  Dan from 6:15 has come into the gym and skiied since April. He just hit 800,000 meters! His goal is 1,000,000. 
  • Petra set up her own goal sheet. She has faithfully done skiing each time she comes into the gym. Her goal this month is 20,000 meters
  • The 6pm ladies formed a ski team. They wanted to challenge others so we devised this Summer Ski Challenge. They have stayed after training and skiied together. They started with 500 meters and now they are skiing at least 2,000 meters daily. 


There are already 15 Summer Skiing Thermometers posted in the gym. Start cr8ing your team now. Plan to show up a bit early or stay a few minutes later to ski. Your meters will quickly add up.

By the way if you have 4 people on your team and each of them skis 2,000 meters each training day in August you'll have a combined total of 128,000 meters. That's a lot.

Let the FUN begin,

Coach Nancy

What’s Going on Inside Cr8 Fitness Now?

Everyone is busy. In order to make your life easier I thought I would give you a heads up on some things going on inside the gym now and in the next few weeks. Check it out!

Quick recap of the video just for you:

  • Cr8 Fitness has your favorite protein flavors, multi- vitamin, Fish oil, Probiotics, and Zinc/Magnesium Supplements all stocked up. Let me know you need something.
  • T Shirt Design Challenge  -  You've been asking for more Cr8 Fitness T Shirts, tank tops, and sleeveless shirts.
    Put your imagination in gear and help design the next awesome shirt. Your design will need to be posted here in picture form by Tuesday, July 27th. We'll vote and get the new design to the T- Shirt guys at Shirtmasters for an August delivery.
    This is a challenge. Put your heads together, talk with those in your crew, get your pencils out and come up with an idea. On July 28th and July29th we'll vote here on your favorite design. The person who submitted that design will get their shirt free. Since its always good to have lots of ideas, I'll also raffle off a free shirt to all those who submit a design.
    Please make the design family friendly. It needs to be original. I've already heard some really good thought. Put them to paper or your computer and generate it.
  • Be Strong - it's good for you and it's one of the reason you come into the gym
  • A team Ski Challenge is coming up in August. Details coming soon.
  • Schedule your  Inbody scan - its easy
  • Have fun and help others have fun too. 
  • Ice cream can be eaten for breakfast. We recently sampled protein ice cream. Which means some of us had ice cream before 6am. It's super easy to make. I'll put the recipe below.

I count it a privilege to be your Coach. You are important to me. It's a proven fact that if you become healthier, you automagically become happier. And the world needs more happy. 

To your best health,

Coach Nancy


Protein Ice Cream

  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter
  • 3 Scoops UMP Chocolate Protein
  • 4 cups ice

Blend for 30 seconds in a powerful blender. You'll need to eat this right away. It's much better that way. 🙂

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